Google Inc proves that feature phones still matter to the company. Thus, it has improved its Webmail service specifically for cheaper devices. The giant search engine firm has just updated the user interface for its Gmail to give users of feature phones better experience when using the email service on their mobile handsets.
The latest improvements were aimed at reducing the required frequency of button presses to use the service. Consequently, users could now read emails, make replies, and compose new messages faster and more efficiently when using their feature phones. Users could now directly reply to email messages through thread view. They could also move more quickly between messages and conversations.
Gmail on the go
Google logically acknowledges that many people use different types of mobile devices to access Gmail even while they are on the go. These days, smartphones and tablet PCs are very popular among consumers who intend to access their email boxes while being on remote areas.
Believe it or not, there are still many people who prefer to use their feature phones’ browsers to do the task. This is why Google developed and introduced the better user interface for such phones. Gmail for feature phones would now be easier and faster to use.
Far from being obsolete
Contrary to what some people think, feature phones are still very far from being obsolete. In fact, it was only during the second quarter of this year that sales of smartphones finally outsold sales of feature phones.
In the most recent quarter, sales of feature phones fell 21% to 210 million units. On the other hand, sales of smartphones jumped 46.5% to a record 225 million units. These figures may indicate that feature phone users still abound across the market. Thus, they remain as a significant segment for Google and other vendors.
The case for Facebook
Meanwhile, just last July, Facebook revealed that there were over 100 million people who use Facebook for Every Phone every month. That feature works on mobile handsets that cost at least $20, making the Website widely accessible to more users.
The social networking site has also disclosed that millions of its users in developing countries connect online through feature phones. Those markets include Indonesia, the Philippines, and India. Thus, Facebook users in those areas are still able to access their accounts via mobile even if they don’t use more expensive smartphones.